Missouri Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley filed his candidacy Tuesday, joining at least 432 other Missourians who submitted paperwork on the first day to register for the 2018 election.
Hawley made what was a long-expected move official by filing for the U.S. Senate race to take on two-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.
While registering, Hawley told reporters McCaskill has been ineffective in raising the economic status of Missourians.
“I’m running for the Senate because Claire McCaskill has broken her promises to the people of Missouri,” said Hawley. “Middle-class wages are stagnating, jobs are going offshore, education costs are soaring, healthcare costs are soaring and really the middle America way of life is in crisis. It’s not acceptable, it’s not sustainable and it’s time for us to make a change.”
When asked about the ongoing investigation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, Hawley said he hopes to keep partisan politics out of the process.
Over the past week, Democrats have used social media to tie Hawley to Greitens while Republicans have blasted the prosecutor in the Greitens case as a politically-motivated liberal.
Hawley signaled his embrace of Republican and conservative priorities Monday by joining a legal battle against the Affordable Care Act that was established under former Democratic President Barack Obama. He joined a 20-state coalition urging a federal district court in Texas to hold the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate unconstitutional and to enjoin the entire law.
Hawley has been criticized by fellow Republicans for running a weak campaign thus far, and for falling far behind McCaskill in raising money. So far, he’s facing five other GOP candidates in the August 7th primary.
According to Ballotpedia, those candidates are Camille Lombardi-Olive, a former Democrat, Robert Marshner, Tony Monetti, Austin Petersen and Courtland Sykes.
Sykes has drawn attention for making strident anti-feminist remarks. He was endorsed Monday by Roy Moore, a Republican who lost an Alabama Senate election after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers.
Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV in Springfield contributed to this report